Providing confidential crisis support (chat, text and emails) using agency procedures and policies, the Roberts’ Model of Crisis Intervention, and in consultation with the Contact Centre Coordinators
Providing information and referrals to Distress Centre programs and community organizations
Addressing risk factors including, but not limited to, suicide, child safety, self-harm, and domestic violence
Handling multiple contacts to ensure individuals are safe and that everyone is heard
Documenting and creating reports on all contacts
Volunteers are also required to answer contacts for our partnership line Canadian Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS*)
*CSPS is a nationally available, regionally delivered 24/7 suicide intervention service. The purpose is to decrease service gaps nationwide to anyone thinking about, or affected by, suicide. Distress Centre Calgary is one of the pilot sites on this Canada-wide initiative
There is an expected commitment of 48 shifts over 12 months with a minimum of 4 shifts per month. The shifts are 4 hours in length and range from 6am-10:30pm daily.
Volunteers set their own schedules based on their availability or they can correspond with the Volunteer Scheduling Coordinator. There will be occasions where, due to unforeseen circumstances, the volunteer may need to stay past the formal shift end time. Credit hours will be given in accordance with the time spent.
Our volunteers do not need prior knowledge or experience in crisis support. Distress Centre offers comprehensive training to all new volunteers in topics including, but not limited to: crisis intervention, addictions, youth issues, and domestic violence. Distress Centre’s initial training includes 35 classroom hours (including independent modules) and 12-20 hours of supervised coaching shifts, with opportunities for additional developmental monthly training.
Training takes place over a 3-week period with a combination of Microsoft Teams classroom sessions and self-paced online modules. Classroom training is followed by supervised shifts where trainees support service users remotely. Attendance is required for all of the training modules and coaching shifts before you will be able to be on the lines solo.
Note: Alternative arrangements for training dates are limited. Volunteers-in-training are expected to attend all sessions.
access to a computer or laptop with an up-to-date operating system and virus protection. They also must be willing to download external applications (e.g., Microsoft Teams) onto this computer
access to a high speed and stable internet connection
a workspace that ensures the security and confidentiality of client information (e.g., a home office with a door). This workspace should also be well illuminated, with a clear path to an exit in case of fire, well-ventilated, heated, and contain an ergonomically designed desk/table and chair. A virtual inspection of your workspaces may be requested as needed
24-Hour Crisis Line: 403.266.HELP (4357)
Main Office: 403-266-1601
Youth Program Office: 403-264-8337
Suite 500, 999 8th Street SW
Calgary, AB T2R 1J5 | View Map
Charitable Registration Number: 107021024RR0001
In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, Distress Centre Calgary would like to honour and acknowledge Moh’kinsstis, and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Blackfoot confederacy: Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, as well as the Îyâxe Nakoda and Tsuut’ina nations. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3 within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. Finally, we acknowledge all Nations – Indigenous and non – who live, work and play on this land, and who honour and celebrate this territory.